National Print Museum

Published in Issue 2 (Summer 1997), News, News, Volume 5

What was once a soldiers’ chapel in Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, is now home to the National Print Museum. The former garrison chapel, built in the mid 1860s, houses artefacts from all sectors of the printing industry. Visitors are first introduced to the ‘father of printing’, Johann Gutenberg, creator of metal type and producer of the first substantial book, the Gutenberg Bible in 1455, and can experience at first hand how those first compositors typeset letter by letter and line by line.
The advent of hot metal casting with the nineteenth-century industrial revolution transformed the industry. The Linotype and Monotype machines are examples of this pioneering technology. The ornate printing presses stand proudly beside a Wharfedale press, known as the ‘war-horse’ of printing. The 1916 Proclamation was printed on one of these remarkable machines. The associated skills of bookbinding and stitching are also represented as is a pen-ruling machine, used to line thousands of children’s’ copybooks.
Headline events in world history are commemorated in framed newspaper pages which adorn the walls of the gallery upstairs, which features an impressive array of 1960s and 1970s computers, forerunners of today’s PCs and photocopiers. In addition an audio-visual presentation takes the viewer step by step through the printing process. The museum is open on a daily basis for guided tours.
Enquiries: (01) 6603770.

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